This was the sort of day that tests travelers and every soul in our group - aged 3 to a few years wiser than me - passed with flying colors.
We started bright and early, loading our luggage on top of a shuttle van in Antigua at 7am.
A few hours later we were exploring the busy highland market in Chichicastenango. Mallory and I lead the way.
We watched some of the activities on the church steps, did a little shopping, made some new friends, watched the produce market action in the commercial building from the mezzanine level, and took in the sights and sounds until our brains were full.
This photo of Annalise and new friends was taken in the booth of my favorite carver in Chichi, Arturo. I have a photo in my collection of the niña in red as an infant 2 years ago.
I have a soft spot in my heart for eggs.
We hopped back in our van for another hour, then ate lunch (at Llama del Bosque) and regrouped in Panajachel. Here Herb is sharing Marty's chocolates with the venders (but only 1 each).
Left to right, crossing the lake from Pana to San Pedro: Patrick, Jessica, Mallory, and Aiden; they seemed to like the ride better the bouncier and splashier it got.
After an unphotogenic slog from the dock to Hotel Mikaso, we were greeted by Patcho...
...and shown to clean, comfortable rooms.
Part of the group will be studying Spanish this week and/or living with local host families; we spent time at the Cooperativa Spanish School and trooping around town meeting families before enjoying brick oven pizza for dinner on the top floor of our hotel.
Sharon and I accompanied the home stay folks to their various houses and found this blessing on the way back to the Mikaso - a fundraiser for students with disabilities including live music. Icing on the cake!!
Note to Jennifer and Susie - the marimba player on the left is our saxophone buddy, Francisco.
Note to Harriett: the player on the right is María Concepción's father (Beca Project family).
You can find the complete photo sets for this trip HERE.